April 2005

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Over the course of six nights, the "JazzItaliano in New York" festival brought seldom-seen faces to a number of New York bandstands. At Smoke (Mar. 4th), alto and soprano saxophonist Rosario Giuliani teamed with pianist Pietro Lussu, bassist Gianluca Renzi and drummer Marcello Di Leonardo and made a huge sound, playing music from 2002's Mr. Dodo and a forthcoming Dreyfus release (Giuliani's third), More Than Ever. Giuliani sounds almost like a tenor player, closer to Trane than to Cannonball. His group balances intensity and sensitive rapport in a way that rivals the current Branford Marsalis quartet. "London By Night" opened the set with awe-inspiring cohesion and inspired blowing; "Sortie" involved tough but seemingly effortless rhythmic challenges (11/8 in the A section, 12/8 in the bridge). Giuliani switched to soprano for Richard Galliano's "J.F." (dedicated to the bassist Jean-François Jenny-Clark), as well as Michel Petrucciani's "Home", which had the feel of an early Keith Jarrett rock ballad. The set finale yielded another blood-on-the-floor alto solo but also some highly attuned interplay between Giuliani and Renzi. The McCoy-inspired Lussu was more than able to burn, but equally adept at leaving wide swathes of space. As Italian as these players were, their sound was pure New York.

Tanya Kalmanovitch showcased her bandleading and viola/violin chops at Cornelia Street Café (March 2) with two different groups. Her first set was with Major Over Minor, a string trio with Rob Thomas on violin and Lindsey Horner on bass, playing music based on Béla Bartók's works for two violins. Horner set the tempos and laid rhythmic foundations for the violin solos, in which Bartók's acrid melodic lanuage became a springboard for brilliant jazz musings. "Painful Struggle" (originally a piano study) was brooding and mournful; "Mosquito Dance" was a snappy movement that seemed to chase its own contrapuntal tail. The second set featured the Hut Five quartet, with Pete McCann on guitar, John Hebert on bass and Owen Howard on drums. Kalmanovitch stuck mainly to viola here; her dark sound meshed beautifully with the guitar and never got drowned out, even with the group at its rockingest (on "Manic Depression", for instance). McCann's fuzz and envelope effects gave the set an extroverted push, without obliterating dynamic subtlety. Kalmanovitch's originals and adaptations touched upon Bartók as well and this seemed to suit Hebert perfectly (his own Bartók readings can be heard on the OmniTone disc Change of Time). Hut Five's two discs for Perspicacity feature a different lineup (Kalmanovitch, Howard, Rick Peckham, Ronan Guilfoyle) and are well worth hearing.

~ David Adler

Perhaps best appreciated in jazz clubs with her intimate style, Abbey Lincoln unquestionably deserves sold-out concert halls. Accompanied by her longtime trio (pianist Marc Cary, bassist Michael Bowie, drummer Jaz Sawyer), Lincoln's single set at Aaron Davis Hall (Mar. 11th) was the best of both worlds. Greeted with a standing ovation, the tone was set for the remainder of the evening. The audience knew it, as did the near 75-year old Lincoln who sang with sincerity and confidence that was infectious and encouraging. Following the vocal opener "Conversations With a Baby", the singer requested - as if singing a lyric - that the house lights be brought up, "I can't see anyone... it's dark!" Always an interactive experience between Lincoln and her audience and never singing for her own vanity, she needed to see and feel to whom she was singing. "Throw It Away" summoned a church-like response of re-encouraging shouts and appreciative hollers from the Harlem audience. Her smoky tenor sax-like delivery allowed each syllable to waft through the air like rings from a cigarette. Lincoln - an endangered treasure second to none - served as a reminder to the legacy she now almost solely represents. And with the encore, "Whatcha' Gonna Do", the vocalist proved she really needs but three words to get the message across.

The modern-day jazz supergroup Sax Summit features veteran saxophonists Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano with the top-caliber rhythm section of Billy Hart (drums), Cecil McBee (bass) and Phil Markowitz (piano). Four nights last month they packed Birdland, jolting those in attendance with first-rate improvisations and interplay.


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Creative Music Studio Spring Workshop 2017 Live From New York Creative Music Studio Spring Workshop 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: July 2, 2017
Read Hal Willner, Ex Eye, Bill Laswell, Zion 80 & Brandon Seabrook Live From New York Hal Willner, Ex Eye, Bill Laswell, Zion 80 & Brandon...
by Martin Longley
Published: July 22, 2016
Read Darius Jones, Mara Rosenbloom, Christian McBride, Tom Harrell & Leon Parker Live From New York Darius Jones, Mara Rosenbloom, Christian McBride, Tom...
by Martin Longley
Published: July 15, 2016
Read Red Hook Jazz Festival 2016 Live From New York Red Hook Jazz Festival 2016
by Martin Longley
Published: July 7, 2016
Read Barry Adamson, Michael Formanek, Elliott Sharp & Rokia Traoré Live From New York Barry Adamson, Michael Formanek, Elliott Sharp & Rokia...
by Martin Longley
Published: April 14, 2016
Read Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Kassé Mady Diabaté, George Coleman & Tedeschi Trucks Band Live From New York Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Kassé Mady...
by Martin Longley
Published: October 20, 2015
Read "Creative Music Studio Spring Workshop 2017" Live From New York Creative Music Studio Spring Workshop 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "Blues Quanta: Power Trios – Johnny Stachela, Eddie Turner, Paul Deslauriers, Jeff Jensen, Lee Delray" Bailey's Bundles Blues Quanta: Power Trios – Johnny Stachela, Eddie...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Shorty Rogers: Short Stops" Reassessing Shorty Rogers: Short Stops
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "re: our recent Araminta review" Website News re: our recent Araminta review
by Michael Ricci
Published: March 20, 2017
Read ""Close Your Eyes" by Bernice Petkere" Anatomy of a Standard "Close Your Eyes" by Bernice Petkere
by Tish Oney
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Penang Island Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Penang Island Jazz Festival 2016
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 23, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.